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Best vegan burger 2022: The tastiest plant-based patties

Whether it’s a midweek meal, BBQ or weekend fakeaway, these are the best vegan burgers you can buy

The best vegan burgers offer delicious, cruelty-free alternatives to comfort food classics. Once restricted to dry, afterthought bean burgers, these days vegans are practically spoilt for choice when it comes to tasty plant-based options. From high-quality substitutes to beef, chicken, pork and fish, to classic vegetable varieties, it’s never been easier to find a flavourful vegan burger.

A savoury treat, vegan burgers are perfect for barbecues, casual dinners or just a midweek pick-me-up. They’re of course, always a firm favourite among fussy kids too. With so many appetising vegan burgers available, picking out the perfect plant-based patty can be tricky. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve taste-tested our way through the supermarket vegan section (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it). Below you’ll find our brief buyer’s guide, followed by our pick of the best vegan burgers on the market today.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best vegan cheeses

How to choose the best vegan burger for you

What are vegan burgers?

Simply put, vegan burgers are patties that contain no animal-derived or animal by-product ingredients. This means they cannot contain meat, eggs, dairy, honey or animal-derived additives. This differentiates them from regular vegetarian or veggie burgers which can often include things like eggs, milk or cheese. While all vegan burgers are suitable for vegetarians, not all vegetarian burgers are suitable for vegans.

What are vegan burgers made from?

From patties that attempt to mimic the texture and taste of real meat and fish to more traditional vegetable options, vegan burgers can be made from a wide variety of different ingredients. Some of the most common ingredients include:

  • Pea protein
  • Soya protein
  • Vegetable protein
  • Mushroom protein
  • Rice protein
  • Seitan
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Pulses
  • Nuts
  • Jackfruit
  • Spices
  • Oils

While all vegan burgers should follow a recipe free of animal-derived ingredients, some may still carry a risk of cross-contamination. If you suffer from any food allergies, it’s important that you still check the ingredients list thoroughly.

Do vegan burgers taste the same as real meat?

Vegan burgers have come a long way in what feels like just a few short years. It wasn’t all that long ago that more often than not, vegans found themselves limited to bland bean patties. These days modern plant-based burgers can do a more than respectable job of replicating the taste and texture of real meat. Although, of course, results will vary from brand to brand.

Not all vegans are looking to accurately replicate the look and feel of meat products, however. You’ll still, therefore, find plenty of tasty vegetable burgers that take on the burger form factor without making any attempt to imitate real meat.

Are vegan burgers a healthier alternative to meat burgers?

Vegan burgers may use plant-based recipes but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’re a healthier option. Nutritional content will vary from brand to brand. While some may offer a lighter alternative, others may contain fat and salt levels broadly comparable to traditional meat burgers.

Are vegan burgers more eco-friendly?

Many people may choose to follow a vegan diet or lifestyle as a way to help limit their ecological footprint. According to the Good Food Institute, compared to conventional meat, plant-based meats require up to 99% less farmland to produce, emit up to 90% less greenhouse gas and use up to 99% less water.

It’s important to note, however, the real-world impact will vary from brand to brand depending on the particular ingredients and manufacturing processes used.

READ NEXT: The best vegan sausages

The best vegan burgers to buy in 2022

1. Best beef-style vegan burger: Beyond Meat Burger

Price: £4.50 | Buy now from Ocado

Nailing the look, texture and taste of beef, the Beyond Meat Burger is as close to meat as plant-based patties get. Made from pea protein – that’s split, rather than garden variety peas – these burgers have the consistency of freshly-pressed ground beef. Their mince-like character can make them a touch trickier to handle: you need to be particularly careful when first laying them out on the barbecue grill but it gives them a highly realistic texture.

Whether you opt to fry them in a pan or broil them on the barbecue, Beyond Meat burgers cook up an absolute treat. The exterior of the patty takes on a crisp, caramelised browning, while the interior remains juicy and packed with moorish flavour. They’re a little pricey and the frozen packs need thoroughly defrosting before cooking but if you’re after the best beef-style vegan burgers, your search ends here.

Key details – Burger type: Beef-style; No. in pack: Two;Cooking method: Pan fry or BBQ; Protein per 100g: 17g; Suitable for home freezing: Yes; Allergy advice: Gluten-free, Kosher

Buy now from Ocado

2. Best chicken-style vegan burger: The Vegetarian Butcher Happy Go Clucky

Price: £2.75 | Buy now from Sainsbury’s

Sometimes nothing quite hits the spot like a classic crispy, chicken-style burger. For those in search of a tasty vegan alternative, The Vegetarian Butcher’s Happy Go Clucky patties do a convincing job of mimicking the real thing.

Made from soy and fortified with B12 and iron, these burgers have a crunchy, golden breadcrumb on the outside and a tender, meaty filling on the inside. When it comes to texture they’re a little softer than a genuine chicken burger but the flavour profile is pretty convincing, even if they’re arguably more chicken nugget than chicken breast. These burgers pair perfectly with lashings of tangy buffalo hot sauce or stacked simply with fresh iceberg lettuce and vegan mayo.

Key details – Burger type: Chicken-style; No. in pack: Two; Cooking method: Oven or grill; Protein per 100g: 8.8g; Suitable for home freezing: Yes; Allergy advice: Contains wheat, gluten, soya and celery and oats. May contain barley, mustard and other cereals

Buy now from Sainsbury’s

3. Best pork-style vegan burger: Moving Mountains Plant-Based Sausage Burger

Price: £4 | Buy now from Sainsbury’s

If you find yourself longing for a vegan alternative to the classic breakfast muffin, you may be in luck. Moving Mountains’ plant-based sausage burgers are packed with flavour and perfectly proportioned to sit inside a freshly toasted English muffin.

Pan-fried from frozen in just a few minutes, these burgers have a highly convincing American breakfast sausage flavour and a genuinely meaty texture that you can really sink your teeth into. They make a flavourful addition to any cooked breakfast and, of course, they’re a treat stacked inside a breakfast muffin with a generous dollop of tomato ketchup. Although not explicitly stated on the box, we found that these burgers also work quite well cooked over the barbecue too.

Key details – Burger type: Pork-style burger; No. in pack: Two; Cooking method: Pan fry; Protein per 100g: 11g; Suitable for home freezing: Yes; Allergy advice: Contains barley, oats, soya and wheat. May contain nuts

Buy now from Sainsbury’s

4. Best low-fat vegan burger: Heura Original Burger

Price: £4.29 | Buy now from Planet Organic

Heura’s Original Burger is the ideal choice for anyone looking to cut the fat without compromising on flavour. Made from pea protein, extra-virgin olive oil and vegetable extracts, the Heura Original packs less than one-fifth the saturated fat of the Beyond Meat Burger.

Despite its lower fat content, the Heura Original manages to be one of the tastiest patties in our roundup. It has a realistic, meaty bite and a smokiness that gives it a just-off-the-grill taste. The flavour of the extra-virgin olive oil is also present, which gives it a slight Mediterranean flavour.

Compared to some of our other picks, the Heura Original is a little trickier to come by and the fresh packs aren’t suitable for home freezing, which limits their shelf life. However, if you’re after a lighter option, the Heura Original Burger is well worth seeking out.

Key details – Burger type: Beef-style burger; No. in pack: Two; Cooking method: Pan fry, barbecue; Protein per 100g: 15g; Suitable for home freezing: No; Allergy advice: May contain soy

Buy now from Planet Organic

5. Best vegan bean burger: Goodlife Spicy Vegetable Bean Burger

Price: £2.85 | Buy now from Ocado

With a crunchy, crumb coating and a rich, flavourful filling, Goodlife’s Spicy Vegetable Bean Burgers masterfully sidestep the bland bean stereotype. Made from a blend of kidney, cannellini and haricot beans, these burgers also pack a healthy dose of carrot, onion, corn and pepper. The patties are then finished with a dash of cumin and just a hint of sweet and smoky chipotle for a tasty Southwest flavour. Baked in the oven they take on a satisfyingly crispy texture that pairs perfectly with some freshly sliced avocado or a generous spoonful of zesty salsa. Alternatively, they also work a treat in pittas or wraps.

These burgers are sold in frozen packs of four and at less than 75p per patty, they represent excellent value for money. If you’re not all that keen on imitation meat, these are a great shout.

Key details – Burger type: Veggie burger; No. in pack: Four; Cooking method: Oven; Protein per 100g: 5.8g; Suitable for home freezing: Yes; Allergy advice: Contains wheat

Buy now from Ocado

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